Egypt’s trade deficit drops 15.7% in first half of 2017/18

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Sat, 24 Feb 2018 - 12:10 GMT

Containers are seen stacked up at Keelung port, northern Taiwan, October 30, 2015 - REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/File Photo

Containers are seen stacked up at Keelung port, northern Taiwan, October 30, 2015 - REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/File Photo

CAIRO – 24 February 2018: Egypt’s Trade Deficit declined 15.7 percent year-on-year in the first half of fiscal year 2017/18, dropping from $21.7 billion to $18.3 billion, Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said Saturday.

The minister said, during a press conference, that imports in that period fell 7.3 percent, standing at $29.4 billion, while exports increased by 11 percent to reach $11.2 billion.

Saeed added that non-petroleum exports grew by 11 percent in the first half of 2018/17.

The most prominent sectors that saw an increase in exports include chemicals, fertilizers, textiles, readymade garments and engineering goods, the minister said.

The country’s trade deficit fell 26 percent year-on-year by $12 billion in 2017, the Trade Ministry said in January.

Egypt’s imports dropped $4.1 billion year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2017 to stand at $53.88 billion, compared to $58.04 billion in the same period of 2016, the state statistics agency CAPMAS said last month.

The decrease comes on the back of a drop in Egypt’s imports of non-petroleum products, which amounted to $49.6 billion in the first 10 months of 2017, compared to $54.8 billion in 2016, according to CAPMAS figures.

Meanwhile, the country’s imports of petroleum products increased, reaching $4.34 billion in the same period, versus $3.21 billion in 2016.

Egypt has been seeing a drop in imports after it floated its currency in late 2016. The move, resulting in the pound losing almost half its value, made Egyptian goods in foreign markets attractively cheaper while doubling the cost of importing.

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